Guest Blog: Laura Childs- Tea Etiquette: What’s it all about?

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Gerry Schmitt, who writes under the pen name Laura Childs. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri) 

Introduced in the year 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, afternoon tea began as a simple solution to prevent what the Duchess termed “that sinking feeling.” Because the socially dictated time for a formal dinner was 7:30, the Duchess was simply looking for a quick snack to tide her over. What started out as bread and butter quickly morphed into tea and toast. Then, as the Duchess’s friends caught wind of what she was doing – and embraced the idea – her teatime (enhanced with even more food) soon became a social hour where she entertained a myriad of friends, artists, and writers. Over time, this new trend evolved into the ritual of tea, food, and manners that we observe today.

Wait a minute, you might say. Manners? Well, yes. We’re not talking hidebound, stiff-upper-lip British manners here, just a few simple rules of tea etiquette that you’d probably want to observe if you’re attending a tea party or visiting a tea salon.

To start with, there’s actually an order in which teatime fare should be enjoyed. The general rule of thumb is to eat tea sandwiches first, then scones, and then sweets. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, however, and some folks prefer to begin with a scone.

Just don’t cut your scone in half and start slathering on jam and Devonshire cream. The proper way to eat a scone is to place it on your plate, tear off a bite-sized piece, and then apply a bit of jam and Devonshire cream with your knife.

9780451489630When it comes to drinking tea, it’s customary for the host (or waitress) to pour the tea, and for the teapot to be left on the table. The proper way to drink tea is to lift up your cup, leaving the saucer on the table, and then placing your cup back on the saucer in between sips. The age old question of whether milk should be poured before or after the tea is still being debated, but it’s really become a matter of personal preference.

Once seen as a sign of elegance and class, the raised pinkie finger is now out of vogue. What else is important? Be sure to take time and thoroughly enjoy your tea experience. Sometimes the very act of inhaling a tea’s aroma can be akin to aromatherapy. Tea drinking can soothe, relax, and lull you into a state of calm.

At the end of your tea, when you’re ready to leave, fold your napkin neatly and place it on the left side of your plate. That’s a clear indicator to your host that you’d like to be invited back!

And if you’d like to vicariously attend a tea party, then you might enjoy reading my newest mystery Broken Bone China. Here’s the Cliff’s Note on it:

After catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally, tea shop maven Theodosia and her tea sommelier Drayton bask in a hot air balloon ride. But as the skies darken, a rogue drone buzzes in and strikes a nearby balloon, causing an enormous, fiery explosion. People are dead and one of them is Don Kingsley, software bigwig and owner of a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag. As Kingsley’s widow presses Theodosia for help, suspects abound in the form of rival antiques dealers, museum representatives, and private collectors. Five million dollars is also missing from the software firm and the fiancé of Angie Congdon (Theodosia’s dear friend and B and B owner) also becomes a prime suspect. In the midst of all this drama, Theodosia still has to charm her tea shop guests, manage the photo shoot at Drayton’s historic home, and pull off a Beaux Arts Tea, her most elaborate tea party yet. In the tradition of all my previous New York Times bestselling thriller-cozies (thrillzies!), Broken Bone China delivers a breakneck pace, heart-warming moments, and recipes that include Eggnog Scones, Strawberry Butter, Banana Pudding Pie, Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms, and Sea Scallops with Brown Butter.

Thanks for reading this!

Love,

Laura

Author Bio

Laura Childs is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club MysteriesRecently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life, Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Find out more about the author at laurachilds.com or on Facebook at LauraChildsAuthor.

 

Guest Blog Post – Why I Wrote The Burn Zone by Renee Linnell

BurnZone_final_01310935I wrote The Burn Zone as a catharsis; I had to get the story out of me. Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I believe she is right. The story was consuming me. It was tearing me apart from within. I was filled with anger and hatred and confusion and I had to let it go. So I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. I vomited all of it onto paper. Over and over and over again. The same scenarios, the same pain, the same periods of my life. I wrote hate letters that I never sent. I screamed into pillows. I wrote letters to God. Over 700 pages I wrote. And it helped. The heaviness began to lift. The anger began to abate. The fits of rage dissipated. The overwhelming sadness turned to hope.

As this happened I began to speak bits of my story to loved ones. I began to share what I went through, what I signed up for. People were shocked, amazed, and . . . impressed. I began to realize my story had worth. I began to realize it was a story of strength; a story of the fight of the human spirit; a story of uncovering my True Self from deep within the shattered pile of a whole lifetime’s worth of rubble. As I spoke my story I began to get a consistent similar response, “You have to write a book.” It was then that I realized I had been writing a book; it was then that I made the decision to publish what I had written.

But, it wasn’t easy. Reading through my journals was painful. Reliving those stories, those states of mind, was sickening. However, I kept doing it. Because as I did it I realized I had inscribed a map. It was a description of what so many of us (I may even venture to say all of us) do as we create a life to please others. And it was a map, a stepping stone path, out, back to authenticity. I realized I had to print and share my story; even if it helped only one other person.

I suppose my background as a seeker and as a Buddhist monk influenced my writing in that I felt safe being raw. Vulnerable. “In my defenselessness my safety lies,” says The Course in Miracles.I took it to heart. And it has been liberating. Publishing my whole story is so freeing because I get to just be me. And it turns out I’m really good at being me. I sucked at being the versions of me I thought I was supposed to be to please my parents, my teachers, my friends, the rest of the world; but it’s actually not much effort at all to just be me. I had a great writing teacher in high school who taught us all the rules of grammar, but then encouraged us to break them. So, you will notice I break a lot of writing rules, but I write the way I would tell a story. Thought by thought, sentence by sentence. Again, authenticity. This is the way I would tell you a story if we were face to face in my living room; why should I write it any other way?

It is my sincere desire that readers would feel liberated after reading my book. I love to imagine the little child within them smiling, finally feeling like s/he gets to call the shots. I love the idea of my readers making the commitment to love and nurture themselves; to treat themselves to the little joys in life that they love. I would love for my readers to finally let go of shame; to start claiming and even celebrating their stories. Especially the “skeletons in the closet.” I imagine shackles around the soul being removed; the shackles of shame, the shackles of not-forgiving, the shackles of wishing this or that never happened. I love imagining the spirits of my readers dancing around in the joy and wonder of their Earth Walk. Changing their mental paradigms to believing their life has been a wild adventure instead of lugging around the baggage of regret. I love imagining the flames within their hearts, the light within, igniting. And I would love for my readers to pull up to the surface, and feel safe in the exposing of, the parts of them that make them different. I would love for them to put my book down knowing their difference is their destiny and feeling ready to show and tell the world about their story, their fight of the human spirit, all that they have gone through, all that they have learned. I would love for them to discover the exhilarating freedom that comes with forgiving all of it, embracing their battle scars, and using those scars to go out in the world and fulfill their true Divine Purpose.

About the Author:

Renee Linnell is the author of The Burn Zone (She Writes Press). She is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and cofounded five companies and has an Executive Masters in Business Administration from New York University. Currently she is working on starting a publishing company to give people from diverse walks of life an opportunity to tell their stories. She divides her time between Colorado and Southern California. For more information, please visit https://reneelinnell.com and follow Renee on Facebook, Twitter and  Instagram.

Guest Blog Post – The Hidden Worlds By Sandra Ingerman

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Sandra Ingerman–©JackieMathey-2018

I have always loved working with children. Since the 1980s I have been teaching children of all ages how to perform shamanic journeys as this is such a powerful way to help children and young adults feel empowered by challenging life situations. Over the years I have also worked with children who needed healing work to retrieve their lost soul essence, to remove a spiritual blockage causing an illness, or to help children deal with nightmares.

I felt it was important to write a book that included not just how power animals can assist children of all ages, but also life practices that are the same taught to children in shamanic cultures. For how to navigate challenges of life, to live a life of harmony with nature, and where children are acknowledged for their gifts and strengths are all taught as early as possible to children living in indigenous cultures. Our children are our future and deserve a way to work with the personal and planetary challenges they are facing.

So I set my intention to write a beautiful book that would incorporate the practice of shamanic journeying and how to live in harmony with nature.

The Hidden WorldsWhen I submitted The Hidden Worlds to my agent she said, “This is the worst book I have read of yours.” My agent was born to be a mother, and she knew this book would not capture the imagination of readers. It was too heavy on spiritual lessons with not enough of a story to draw the readers in.

It was clear that as I did not have children of my own, I did not understand how to write an engaging story.

I was leading a reunion of shamanic teachers I trained. And Katherine Wood and I had lunch together. Katherine had a long career as a school teacher, and through our long history together I knew her work with children was simply brilliant!

She agreed to work with me and take the story I had created to become an engaging teaching adventure for young adults. Then the magic began.

Initially Isaiah, the main character of the story, appeared to me in a dream. In the dream I could see that he was frail and quite sick. I could easily see how writing a story of how Grizzly Bear could befriend and bring guidance and healing to a child who was ill would be a great start to the story.

Then I wanted to bring in other characters who had certain issues. I created Rose, George, and Magda who were all so different. Isaiah who was frail, George who had special needs, Rose who was Chinese was so angry about being adopted and fought so much at school, and Madga was so popular and a great soccer player. I paired them with Grizzly Bear, Octopus, Giraffe, and Panther to help them with their issues at home and with other students at school.

With Katherine’s help, we devised a story to bring more adventure into the book. For in the first draft I only had the characters meet each other and their power animals in their dreams—not enough intrigue for children to get hooked into the story. And I did not create much character development. Katherine with her knowledge of how children can act out in life and behave towards each other in school brought in the details of their stories and their personal challenges. She brought texture to the characters to make them alive so that readers could really relate to them and their struggles.

We came up with the idea of the children meeting each other in a dream. And then during the day they met while wandering on their own during a break. They all found themselves at a pond that was filled with dead birds. This unlikely group of friends decided to become detectives to find out the source of the pollution. They did not tell their parents or any school officials what they were up to. By putting their heads together and also asking for help from their most trusted power animals they found that a toxic waste plant was disposing of poison illegally.

I have found that when crafting a story there is a point where the character’s lives deepen to the point that they take control of the plot. It was great for me to experience this as the four worked together to shut this plant down. The story took interesting twists as they developed respect for each other’s gifts, performed rescues, explored romance, confronted bullies, and resolved their conflicts with each other. I hope they will remind our readers of the limitless possibilities that are available in their own lives.

About the Author:

Sandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including The Hidden Worlds and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life. She is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism and has been teaching for more than 30 years. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture, addressing the needs of our times. For more information, please visit https://sandraingermanbooks.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Guest Blog Post – The Friends and Family Conundrum by Brett Grayson

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Grayson_photoEditor’s Note: Everyone, meet Brett Grayson. Let’s give him a big “hello!” and hear what he has to say. Guest blog post and an excerpt from “What Could Go Wrong? My Mostly Comedic Journey through Marriage, Parenting and Depression” follows.

“Sawyer, stop looking at me like that.” Sawyer’s my dog. He doesn’t speak English. I wish he did. Then again, maybe he wouldn’t love me as unconditionally.

His small brain makes him loyal and willing to stay in bed until noon with me.

I have those mornings sometimes. I wake up with the kids and put on an Academy Award-winning performance until they leave for school. As soon as my wife Lauren leaves to drive them though, all the adrenaline gets sapped out of me and I crawl back into bed.

At some point, I then make eye contact with Sawyer and decide I’m disappointing him. But I’m not. No matter how poor a mood you’re in, irrespective of how you look, or smell (actually, they prefer if you smell bad), dogs are there for you.

It’s that other species that live in our houses and works with us and has the nerve to say hello while we’re minding our own business walking our dogs, that’s the problem. Humans expect from us and judge us and are disappointed in us, and all of that makes revealing our vulnerabilities to them that much harder.

I waited a long time to tell each person in my life that I struggle with anxiety and depression. There were practical reasons I kept it to myself – I didn’t want to burden others; I didn’t want it to affect me professionally; I haven’t picked up my cell phone since 2012 – but ultimately it came down to this: I was embarrassed by it. And the reason for embarrassment was different for each person in my life.

My parents know I take Prozac. But the flow of information to them pretty much ends right there. I have determined that the stress it puts on them outweighs any benefit of support they can offer me. Not to mention the fear of disappointing them, the concern they view it as an indictment of their parenting, and probably most prominently, the reality that they just have archaic views on mental health.

As for friends, until early this year when I put my website up with the word “depression” in the header image, no one knew. To a degree, you never stop feeling like you’re in high school and want other people to like you.

Image 2-2-19 at 10.06 PMAlthough, Lauren and her friends are slightly better about opening up to each other about their problems. They confide in each other about their issues, and how each of their husbands is dealing with some sort of neuroses or addiction. It’s actually kind of funny when we get together because clearly the wives go back and tell their husbands what they discussed with their friends. So everyone knows how screwed up everyone else is, yet no one ever brings it up when we’re together. Instead, when we go out to restaurants, we sneak our Xanax under the table and pop it into our mouths when we think no one is looking.

Since my site went up, people have come out from under trailers practically to tell me they’ve struggled too (I’m not sure why I used “trailers,” as no one within 50 miles of me has a trailer). Some are internet friends whom I’ve never met. Some are actual people in my life. It’s both relieving and sad to hear from others about their struggles. Of course, this momentary connection doesn’t mean they want me calling them next Thursday to tell them I’m having a bad day.

And then there’s Lauren. For years while we were dating, I withheld my depression from her. My default setting was to portray myself as masculine and strong, as that was what I thought an attractive male was. Lauren now knows everything (well, almost everything. I’ll get to that in a minute). I’d like to say it’s because of the progress we’ve made to break gender stereotypes. Or even that I’ve determined she’ll love me “in sickness and in health.” In reality, it’s because you really don’t have a choice when you sleep in the same bed as someone. There’s just nowhere to hide from them (Well, technically there is if you fall asleep on the couch every night with a spoon of peanut butter in your mouth).

Sure, there are small things I still keep from her. For example, she’ll be annoyed to find out in this very sentence that I’ve been lying to her about hating the taste of Craisins, when in fact I don’t eat them because of some weird OCD reason I won’t even get into here.

And I’m not getting rid of my therapist so fast. We all need someone without a dog in the fight who we can reveal our most crazy thoughts to, and frankly, who we can complain about our spouses to. My marriage is ripe with complications like any good marriage is.

But you still need that person who isn’t peeking at the clock while you spill your guts out, and is available on weekends, and isn’t four-legged. You need someone who you can take your manhood or womanhood and put it aside and crumble before them. Without that person, you’re going to explode at some point.

For me, that person is my wife. Thank God I’m so handsome.

****

An excerpt from “What Could Go Wrong? My Mostly Comedic Journey through Marriage, Parenting and Depression” by Brett Grayson.

Urine Catching

“Honey, I didn’t get my period yet.”

“When were you supposed to?”
“Four days ago.”
“So you’re pregnant.

“Stop. It’s not a joke.”

“I’m not joking. If you are, that’s great. We’ll deal with it.” (At least 40 percent of me is okay with this statement.)

“Maybe you should pick up a pregnancy test,” Lauren suggests.

“Should I just get one test or a few?”
“Get one. How hard can it be?”
Thirty minutes later, I have the test stick in my hand. I read the instructions: she needs to pee in a cup and we need to dip the stick in the cup. We then wait for either one or two lines to appear. If a second one appears, she’s pregnant.

I get a cup and come back upstairs.
“What are you doing?” Lauren asks.
“What?”
“You think I’m peeing in a ‘#1 GRANDMA’ mug?”
“I thought we had plastic cups. We don’t. This is the first thing I found. Why do you have it, anyway?”

“I forgot to give it to my Grandma for Mother’s Day. I’m not peeing in it, Brett. It’s disrespectful to her.”

“Are you kidding me? This is a much more important life for a mug than just holding coffee 100 times. This mug will confirm if she’s going to be a Great-Grandma for the first time.”

“Whatever. Just give me it.”

Lauren pees in it and we put the test down and discuss what we think it will be. After a few minutes, the second line is sort of starting to come in. But is it?

“Let’s bring it in the other room with better light,” Lauren suggests.

We walk into the other room.
“I think I see a second line,” I exclaim.
“You have the worst eyesight.”

“Well, what do you think?”
“I don’t know. I’m freaking out.”
I go to the pharmacy again and buy three different tests. I take mild notice of how expensive it becomes—as much as you can notice when you’re on a mission.

At home, I’m looking at the pink lines from the first test again. It looks like it came in a bit more.

“The new test says ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’.”
“Why didn’t you just buy that test in the first place?” Lauren asks.
“I don’t know. Leave me alone. I’m nervous.
“YOU’RE nervous?
This test requires you to pee on the actual test stick. She can’t pee, though. I get her water. Finally, she announces that she’s ready to pee.

“Brett, can you hold the stick while I pee on it?”
“I feel like that’s your department.”
“I don’t care whose department it is. There’s no way I’m doing it myself.”

“Fine.”

I hold the test stick under her while she takes what seems like nine hours to start peeing. Finally, pee comes flying out in all directions. I don’t think I ever concentrated on the flow of urine from a female before this moment. It is very different from a man’s flow and there are numerous variables. I am caught off-guard and the test stick may not be sufficiently saturated.

“Why didn’t you get it?” Lauren yells.
“You moved.”
“No, I didn’t.”
We put the test down and wait. The dogs are in their dog bed bored by our bickering.
“If it says ‘Not Pregnant’, are we taking another test?” Lauren asks.

“Yes, of course. That’s why I bought three tests … that second pink line from the first test really looks like it’s coming in … is it three minutes yet?” I ask impatiently.

“Why, did you stop looking at the watch?”

“What’s the difference? It will either pop up ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’. It’s not going to change to ‘Maybe’.”

Lauren is staring at the test stick. “I see an hourglass.” She reads the instructions. “An hourglass means the test isn’t working.”

“I knew it,” I say. “There isn’t enough pee on it.”

We have two tests left. We take one out, but she can’t pee. Again, she drinks a glass of water and we run the faucet. Twenty minutes later, she’s ready.

“Brett, if you don’t catch the pee this time, I’m leaving you and I’m having this baby with a much older French businessman.”

“That’s very specific.”

Fortunately, I have improved my urine-catching skills and the stream flows on the stick for a few seconds. We wait. We look at the first test and the second pink line has gotten more pronounced.

The moment comes – “Pregnant. We’re as prepared as a piece of sashimi. No turning back now.

From What Could Go Wrong? by Brett Grayson© 2018 by Brett Grayson

 

Charlotte’s Angels Coffeecake from Sofie Ryan, Author Of No Escape Claws

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In the Second Chance Cat mysteries Sarah Grayson runs a repurpose shop, Second Chance. Her store is also home to Charlotte’s Angels Detective Agency, aka the Angels, which means Sarah gets pulled into whatever case the senior sleuths are working on.  No matter what the Angels are investigating, they always seems to run on tea, lots and lots of tea, made in a proper teapot, not with a bag in a cup.

Even though the Angels drink a lot of tea, they eat a lot of coffeecake. This is one of their favorites.

Ingredients:

Topping:

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Cake

1 cup plain yogurt (not fat-free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup margarine or butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions:

Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix cinnamon and brown sugar for topping.

Mix the yogurt and baking soda together and set aside. Cream the margarine, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Whisk the flour and baking powder together and add to the creamed ingredients alternately with yogurt.

Spread half the batter in pan. Sprinkle on half the topping. Cover with the rest of the batter and add the remaining topping.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until top is brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool. Cut into 16 pieces.

 

Book Review – Sunrise Cabin by Stacey Donovan – can two very different people actually want the same thing in life?

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Sunrise Cabin

By Stacey Donovan

Hallmark Publishing

2018

e-book

Setting: Denver, CO

Sweet alert

Paige lives life on her own terms. She rents a vintage cabin and is grateful for everything she has. She makes sure her first-grade students receive the attention they deserve. Her parents are a big part of her life. They’ve helped her get this far, but she wants to support herself. In terms of goals, she hopes to become a children’s book writer and is hoping her manuscript doesn’t get stuck in the slush pile.

Her heart is nearly broken when she learns from her landlord, Harry, that he’s going to sell the cabin and move to Albuquerque to be closer to his daughter and her family. She’s happy he’ll have the opportunity, but at the same time knows that she has to leave the one thing she’s most proud of. Perhaps it was an unreachable dream, but she considered what her chances were in buying the cabin.

Perhaps it’s fate, but one day while going to the café to buy cupcakes for her class, she meets Dylan. They really have nothing in common. He’s in finance and can only focus on earning his way as vice president. She has a natural desire to care about others. But something clicks when he sees her and he volunteers to pay for her purchase. Their brief connection may have ended there, but there’s a tie that binds them.

When the cabin goes on the market, Paige decides to fight for it, hoping that the money will come through with the sale of one of her manuscripts.

Then Dylan learns it was once his grandparents’ home, where he was happy when he was young. So, it’s clear what the conflict is. Now they have to figure out what to do. The cabin brought them together, but can it bring them real happiness? Read the book to find out.

After reading years of romance, it is very different to read something “sweet” rather than “hot.” I find it kind of nice to have things toned down once in a while instead of totally descriptive sex. I could relate to the characters’ life challenges and cared about what happened to them. There was a good balance of emotion and conflict. Only thing unrealistic is thinking the book deal would come through when she needed it the most. It doesn’t work that way in real life.

Three and a half children’s books out of five

Denise Fleischer    

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

Jan. 27, 2019

Blog Tour: Best-selling author Kat Martin tells us about real life heroes

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cover147759-mediumAs a writer, I’m always looking for new story ideas.  For most writers, past experiences can be a very big help.  Have you ever survived a dangerous situation?  How did you do it?

When I was first learning to snow ski, I got caught on top of Stowe Mountain, Vermont in a blizzard, after the lifts had closed.  It’s a huge ski area.  It was my first day on skis and somehow I got separated from my friends and wound up on a black diamond run.  Of course I started falling, and falling, and falling.  Throwing myself down in the snow was the only way I knew how to stop!

By the time I got half way down, it was pitch black and freezing cold.  I tried taking off my skis and walking, but the snow was deep and it was even harder that trying to ski.  The clothes I had on weren’t nearly thick enough for a New England winter and I was afraid hypothermia would set in.  I knew I was in big trouble.

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Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star

Maybe the reason I started writing Romantic Suspense had something to do with that day.  Just when I was ready to give up, just sit down in the snow and wait for whatever was going to happen, a guy came skiing down the hill out of nowhere.

Instead of skiing on by, he swished to a stop right next to me.   He must have realized I was in trouble and if I didn’t get down the mountain, I could die in the subzero weather that night.  The guy–my hero–helped me get up and start “skiing” back down the hill. He showed me how to snow plow, helped me make the necessary turns, and never left me, no matter how many times I fell.

It took hours to get off that mountain.  We wound up in an empty parking lot, where fortunately his car was parked, and he drove me back to the main lodge, which was snowed in by that time.  I never saw him again, but I’ve never forgotten him.  There is a chance he might have saved my life that night.

So I guess there really are heroes out in the real world.  Chase Garrett, the hero in THE CONSPIRACY, is that kind of man.

The oldest of the three wealthy Garrett brothers, Chase, a private detective, owns Maximum Security, a highly successful Dallas security firm.

In THE CONSPIRACY, Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared.  Desperate to find him, Harper is forced turn to Chase, once her brother’s best friend.  But dealing with the Winston crime family won’t be easy.  With time running out, Chase must find a way to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

I hope you’ll watch for THE CONSPIRACY and that you enjoy it.  Till next time, all best and happy reading,

Kat

The Conspiracy, by Kat Martin

EXCERPT 5 of 5

As the land cruiser rolled along the highway, Harper tried to relax, but worry nagged her.  She didn’t like the big, dark-haired man with the obsidian eyes and scarred face.  With his hard features and powerful, muscular body, Killian Dawson made her more than a little uneasy.

Even his name set her on edge.  Killian.  Kil, he called himself.  She wondered if he spelled it with two LLs.

She couldn’t imagine how a man who hadn’t cut his hair in months, hadn’t shaved in days, could possibly be handsome, but somehow he was.  She thought that a man who exuded that kind of masculinity wouldn’t have any trouble attracting women, though his crude brand of sexuality didn’t appeal to her and only made her dislike him more.

It didn’t matter what she thought of him. They needed his help to find Michael, and Dawson clearly knew what he was doing.  She would follow his orders, do whatever she had to.

Besides, she was armed and so was Chase.  In a different but equally masculine way, Chase was Dawson’s equal.  He was smart, his body hard, all lean-muscled power and strength.  She could count on Chase to protect her, believed that in every cell of her body.

Maybe it was because she was Michael’s sister, or that she was a woman, but she didn’t think so.  Something was happening between them.  She had begun to see it in Chase’s eyes whenever he looked at her and thought she wouldn’t see.

Something hot and sexual was happening that neither of them wanted–Harper revised the thought–or at least something Chase didn’t want.  Harper was growing more and more certain having sex with Chase Garrett was exactly what she wanted.

Whatever the truth, at least for now both of them were doing their best to ignore it.  They were there to save Michael and Pia.  That was all that mattered.

An hour and a half after they left Santa Marta following the GPS coordinates Tabitha Love had given to Chase, Kil Dawson pulled the Land Cruiser off the Mingueo-Santa Marta highway onto a two-lane road headed directly toward the ocean.  The road quickly narrowed to a single dirt track, and a few miles later, the sea appeared in front of them, an endless expanse of blue.

The road turned slightly south and ran along the edge of a cove.  A ways farther on, a few weary structures appeared ahead of them, a gas station with only a single pump, and what passed for a restaurant with rooms above.  A permanent VACANT sign swung in the breeze on a pole outside the entrance.  Next to it, the door to the Las Palmaras Cantina stood open.

The village was mostly deserted, just a kid on a ratty, bicycle and a couple of older women in ankle-length, gathered skirts walking along the dirt street.  A mongrel black and white dogged sniffed a trash can in the ally beside the restaurant looking for something to eat.

It was the sleek white sailboat bobbing at a long wooden dock on the west side of the cove that captured Harper’s attention. Her mouth went dry as she recognized her brother’s beautiful yacht, BUZZ Word.

“There it is!”  She pointed excitedly over Chase’s shoulder.  “Michael’s boat.  That’s it!”

Dawson pulled the vehicle off the main road onto an even narrower dirt track that wound into deep green foliage.  Reaching beneath his seat, he dragged out a pair of binoculars and began to scan the dock, the village, and the area around it for what seemed the longest time.

“Looks deserted,” he finally said.  “No way to know for sure till we check it out.”

Harper’s gaze remained on the boat, her heart throbbing. They’d found the yacht, but what had happened to Michael and Pia?  She didn’t see anyone aboard the vessel.  Had they been murdered for the money the valuable yacht would bring?  She shoved the grim thought out of her head.  Her brother was alive somewhere and being held for ransom.  Chase had said it was still a possibility.

Putting the cruiser into four-wheel drive, Dawson drove farther down the muddy trail until they were completely hidden from view. The engine went dead and Dawson stepped out of the vehicle.  At the same time, so did Chase.

Silently, the men walked to the rear of the cruiser and opened the tailgate to the cargo area.  They both started unzipping gear bags and pulling out clothes and equipment.

When the men began to peel off their shirts and jeans, Harper looked away.  By the time she looked back, both men were dressed, both wearing camo pants and T-shirts. The olive drab Tee that Chase had put on outlined the muscles across his chest and abdomen and stretched around his amazing biceps.  He’d strapped one of Dawson’s long-bladed knives to his thigh and a second pistol hung from a belt around his waist.

He looked like a man she had never seen before. Tall, hard-edged, hard-bodied, and determined.  He hadn’t shaved since they’d left Aruba and the dark gold beard along his jaw now joined the rough stubble on his cheeks, making him appear rugged and dangerous. He looked like a man who could handle whatever he faced, exactly the right man for the job ahead of him.

It was exactly the wrong time for her to feel a shot of lust.

Kil Dawson closed the back of the cruiser while Chase walked around and opened the rear passenger door.  “You need to stay here,” he said.  “You’ve got a gun.  If you get in trouble, fire off a shot.  We won’t be far away.”

Purchase Links

AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Maximum-Security-Book-ebook/dp/B07C14Q9M2

BN

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conspiracy-duane-l-martin/1120825832?ean=9781488098901#/

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-conspiracy-16

GOOGLE

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_The_Conspiracy?id=Xx1VDwAAQBAJ

ITUNES

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-conspiracy/id1369525583?mt=11

INDIEBOUND

https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=The+Conspiracy

 

Kat Martin Bio

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

 

Guest Blog Post – Justin Murphy tells us about Gene L. Coon’s Accomplishments

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Justin Murphy

I was possibly the first e-book author Denise Fleischer interviewed for Gotta Write Network. At the time, I released only a few books, such as “Dothan” and “Everyone Loves A Scandal.” Passing through a couple e-book publishers and articles sites before landing at Amazon Kindle. Within a year or so, I got on the 99 cent gravy train and put out a succession of Kindle books in short order. For better or worse, I now have many books on Amazon. Yet, in some way, they each furthered me to current point. Including a very small breakout success with Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek.

Coon is often the forgotten writer-producer that made The Original Star Trek what it was. While Gene Roddenberry created the initial concepts, Coon almost single handedly devised The Klingons. He also had a hand in developing the villain Khan for the episode, ’’Space Seed’’.  Any notion of Starfleet, The United Federation of Planets, and Warp Technology also belong to him. In addition to the bickering dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. As the latter two debate logic versus emotion with Kirk trying to reason between the two and choose a third, more balanced, option.

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Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek by Justin Murphy.

Other than a few tidbits and factoids, not much was known about Coon’s non-Star Trek life or career. For over six months, I scr7ounged obscure archives through Newspapers.com. Mostly The Beatrice Daily Sun in his native Beatrice, Nebraska and The Los Angeles Times, in the obvious locale where he had most of his success. I found various details dating back to the late 1920’s. Where he began singing on the Omaha radio station WOAW-AM at four years old. Knowing 24 songs, including one in German and one in French. He also became a teenage newscaster at KWBE in Beatrice before relocating to Glendale, California at age 14 with his family.

He served stateside in World War II as a member of The U.S. Marine Corps, also a reserve in the postwar era. Coon was later deployed to Korea, continuing as newscaster and even trained as a pharmacist and housebuilder. After returning from the war, he served as a reporter in Las Vegas covering Atomic Bomb tests. Also managed his own pharmacy in Los Angeles. He spent the next decade writing many scripts for film and television. Even penning a couple novels, “Meanwhile Back At The Front” and “The Short End of The Stick,” based on his time as a Marine.

Typically, I promote my books on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, resulting in a small smattering of sales. Yet with Gene L. Coon, I went from having almost no sales for two years to this very book unexpectedly becoming my #5 seller within a month of its release. It has since been on display at an event honoring Coon in his hometown.

‘Becoming Starlight’ – An excerpt from Sharon Prentice’s Book On Heaven

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Excerpted from Becoming Starlight: A Shared Death Journey from Darkness to Light by Sharon Prentice, PhD. Copyright © 2018 by Sharon Prentice. https://sharonprentice.com

9781947637948_p0_v1_s550x406Heaven. There are many different words for it in many different languages. And each day, it’s a “place” that’s referred to more than any other in the world. Why? Every single race, religion, ethnicity, and culture—members of each one believe in the concept of Heaven. Religious scholars and philosophers have debated, argued, and fought over the very nature of Heaven since time immemorial and they have written reams and reams of papers about it and stockpiled book after book on library shelves for millennia.

But it’s not the conversations or writings of the religious scholars or philosophers that touch the true nature of “that place.” It’s the conversations that take place in the hospices, hospitals, ICU’s and funerals of the world that take us into the soul of humanity and, therefore –into Heaven. It’s in times of great personal trauma that many of these discussions take place. And, sometimes, these private moments can become very heated due to the stress and fear that exist in the trying moments before the death of a loved one. Once the word “Heaven” is spoken out loud, the underlying, unacknowledged, unspoken word that goes with it is death. Fear that death is near–especially in the waiting rooms of the ICU–prompts exchanges that are not normally heard in everyday family life.

When “the end” is near, people shy away from using the word “death”; their conversation will, instead, turn to the “place” where their loved one “is going” and to each person’s individual interpretation of exactly what and where Heaven is–and everyone has their own “truth.”   Listening to, and being part of these conversations, is both joyous and heart wrenching as families try to come to terms with exactly “where” their loved one will be after they die. This conversation is repeated countless times, every single day, all over the globe.

The conflict begins the very minute someone questions the interpretation of another. In these moments of great tragedy, having one’s viewpoint understood and accepted as truth–the only truth–is vitally important to each person’s peace of mind. Therein lies the problem. The discussion turns to debate–then to all-out disagreement.

I understand the conflict. Over the years, I have shared my SDE with many friends, colleagues, and mentors, and my explanations and descriptions have sometimes caused heated debate among them. I have spoken to individuals from all walks of life, from all the great religions of the world, from every background and school of thought, and every one of them had their own version of what “truth” should “be” or “is.” While all their “truths” were different, they did have a unifying thread–a belief in an afterlife. “Heaven” and “Hell” were central to every debate and the descriptions of these “places” were similar in both nature and belief.

In the course of these debates and conversations, I have been asked to explain “where” I was taken, what I meant by “I became Starlight,” and to describe exactly what “God” looked like. It is so very difficult to accurately relay my experience because I must rely on “words.” To use words such as “majestic, magnificent, purity defined, peaceful, still, home” dulls the experience because of the mere fact that labeling it–using words to describe the indescribable–just doesn’t do the SDE justice. To characterize the face of God, the touch of God, is tantamount to explaining perfection itself–how can it be done?  How do you depict an emanation of love and joy combined with otherworldly purity? How do you describe an ethereal form that consists of pure light? The “how” lies in the experience itself as given to you by God Himself–His face, His thoughts, His Word engraved upon your heart–how do you give voice to that feeling?

The “how” lies hidden in the vision, the “feeling” of pure Spirit–the soul must feel its way through to see perfection without being polluted by the scripts we grew up identifying with and falling victim to. “God looked like love I have never experienced before” has always been my answer. There are some feelings and thoughts that can never be expressed–words don’t exist to describe them. Our own humanity puts locks on the words felt in the Soul. The physicality of God’s appearance—it simply wasn’t important. I felt absolutely no curiosity about it–His touch was just too all-consuming and comforting to think of anything else. Perhaps one day, someone will invent a word that accurately depicts “the pure light that is love” that will get us one step closer to seeing His perfection.

Once the head shaking stops from my lack of a physical description, the conversation turns to “where” was I? Most organized religion tells us that God is “separate” from us, that He lives somewhere “out there,” above the clouds in a place called Heaven. Religion teaches us that God is the creator and final arbiter of the rights and wrongs of living and that we all will surely answer to Him for all our wrong doings. And just as we’ve been told who and what God is, we’ve also been told what “heaven” is, in descriptive terms that everyone can visualize. Heaven is a specific place, the likes of which there is no equal. It is an “other” world, out there somewhere, filled with everything wonderful and beautiful, full of creature comforts that we only dream about. Mansions line golden streets encrusted with pearls and diamonds, and everyone has everything they ever wanted–and everyone who was the best “good little boy or girl” has even bigger and better things than those who weren’t quite as good in this life. We earn that mansion on that particular street in that particular neighborhood by the things we do or believe or by the things we don’t do or don’t believe while living on this earth. Sounds like a bigger and better version of life here, doesn’t it? I fully accepted that version, that description of Heaven given to me as a child. The innocence of childhood demands “pictures” we can understand. Adjectives that paint a picture of a human paradise comfort and console us when we think of death–ours or anyone else’s.

But that is not what I found in “that place” among my stars. Was there physicality, a form, a space–a specific place that could be described? I can’t say there was! What I found, and felt, instead, in the place where I was held, was magnificence itself: Pure Starlight–and God Himself. And the most amazing surprise of all–I found the “me” as God intended me to be from the moment He formed me in my mother’s womb–before this world got ahold of me and slapped labels on me that told me who to “be” and what to believe. But in “that place,” I found myself as a magnificent extension of God. My answer to the question, “What does God look like?” has always been the same: to describe God, I would be describing my own Soul. And to describe “that place” requires a complete letting go of everything that any logic and human reasoning would dictate.

The very essence of God, of Heaven, was in and of that Starlight. I discovered–no, I just knew–that there is nowhere that God is not. He is in and of everything that has ever existed. There is nothing that He is not. There is no place that He is not. If it exists, it is a part of Him–His thoughts created everything, including every one of us. We exist purely because he thought of each one of us. We are the physical forms of His thoughts. We are his creations–part of a whole that we can’t perceive. We are all intricately combined as one thought of God but gloriously separate as individuals for some reason unknown to us–but known to Him from the moment He gave each of us life.

About the Author:

Dr. Sharon Prentice is the author of Becoming Starlight: A Shared Death Journey from Darkness to Light. Soon after completing her graduate studies in psychology, Dr. Prentice longed to discover “the why’s” about her own intimate experience with death in the form of an SDE, and that of others who had experienced something “weird, unbelievable, odd” at the time of the death of a loved one. Dr. Prentice is in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor – Advanced Certification. She is also a Board Certified Spiritual Counselor (SC-C) and holds Board Certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group Therapy, Integrated Marriage and Family Therapy, and Crisis and Abuse Therapy. She is also a Board Certified Temperament Counselor. Dr. Prentice is a Professional Member of the American Counselors Association, a Professional Clinical member of the National Christian Counselors Association, a Clinical member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and a Presidential member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is also a Commissioned Minister of Pastoral Care. For more information, visit https://sharonprentice.com  and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour – Kat Martin tells us how she comes up with ideas for her novels

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Story Ideas

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Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star

I’ve always been a plot-oriented writer.  People ask me how I come up with ideas for my novels and the truth is, I don’t really know.

Recently I wrote a very short digital story–AFTER THE SUNRISE, just published on Amazon–mostly because I woke up on a Saturday morning with the story fully developed in my head.  Kurt Layton seemed like a great hero and I thought it would be a good way to introduce my first hardcover novel, THE CONSPIRACY, which will be out January 22nd.

Kurt works as a private detective for Chase Garrett, the wealthy owner of Maximum Security, an extremely successful private security firm.

Chase is the oldest of the three Garrett brothers.  He and Brandon, the youngest, a former soldier, are true Texas men, comfortable in cowboy boots no matter where they are.  Reese, the middle brother, is CEO of Garrett Resources, the family-owned, billion-dollar oil and gas company.

The brothers, though each is distinctly his own person, have a very strong bond.  They’re the kind of men who are there for each other, no matter what happens.

cover147759-mediumIn THE CONSPIRACY, Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared.  Pursuing his dream of sailing the Caribbean, Michael hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days.  When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper is forced to take desperate measures.  Which means going to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend, now the only man she can trust…or so she hopes.

But the last thing Chase wants is to get involved in the Winstons’ snarled crime family.  No way should he take the case, but old loyalties die hard.

As danger draws him closer to Harper and deeper into trouble, Chase is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe–and both of them alive.

I hope you’ll watch for THE CONSPIRACY and that you enjoy it.  I’ll have three more high-action, sexy romantic thrillers coming your way in the future. Till then, all best and happy reading.

Kat

EXCERPT: THE CONSPIRACY

Chapter One

Dallas, Texas

She knew who he was. The only man at the gala in a black tuxedo and shiny black alligator cowboy boots. Chase Garrett. The man she intended to hire to help her find her missing brother.

Harper Winston had known Chase since the day her father had thrown an obnoxiously extravagant party in honor of her sixteenth birthday.

Chase had attended with her older brother, Michael. She had spotted Chase in a swimsuit standing next to the pool, tall, with a lean, hard-muscled body, whiskey-brown eyes and thick, dark blond hair. In the sun it had gleamed like pirate’s gold.

Aside from the close-trimmed beard along a jaw that had hardened with maturity, Chase hadn’t changed. He still had the perfectly symmetrical features of a movie star combined with a toughness that appealed to a legion of women.

Now that she was thirty, Chase thirty-five, Harper still found him ridiculously attractive, though he’d never given her more than a passing glance.

He didn’t notice her tonight, though she wore an elegant strapless black gown that hugged her slender curves and set off the pale blond hair she wore long and slightly turned under. She glanced over to where he stood next to a stunning brunette, a successful lawyer in Dallas, the typical sort of woman Chase dated. Self-made career women, professors, bankers, stockbrokers. Not someone like her, the daughter of a wealthy Texas businessman, a woman who had attended Sarah Lawrence along with a bevy of other rich socialites from around the country.

It didn’t matter that she was nothing like they were. That she hadn’t the least interest in society. Her interests lay in the business world, in Elemental Chic, the company she had started, a line of affordable, stylish and well-made casual clothing and accessories.

She wasn’t cut out for teaching or social work, she had discovered during a year of volunteer work in South America, an adventure she had undertaken mostly because her father disapproved.

Harvard Business School was where she was meant to be, she had grudgingly conceded. As her father had insisted and was eager to pay for—business being one of the few interests she and Knox Winston, a self-made multimillionaire, had in common.

Unlike her father, Chase Garrett came from big money, which he disdained, though he and his two brothers had inherited a not-so-small fortune from Bass Garrett, Chase’s dad.

Harper lifted a champagne flute off a passing waiter’s tray and took a sip. Chase might not notice her tonight, but he was the reason she was there. She hadn’t seen him in years, but when she had read in the newspaper that he would be attending the gala, she’d seized the opportunity. She wanted to see the man he had become, the man she would be facing tomorrow morning.

It didn’t matter what he thought of her as a woman. She needed his professional assistance. Her brother was in trouble. She knew it deep in her soul. Mikey had disappeared, and Chase was among the few people she trusted to help her find him.

Chase owned Maximum Security, a firm that specialized in private investigation, bail enforcement, personal protection, business and residential security. She had done her homework, knew he had offices in Phoenix and San Diego as well as here in Dallas. Chase was wildly successful, his reputation impeccable.

No matter his opinion of her, he had once been a close friend of her brother’s, a man Michael trusted completely. She needed Chase’s help, and she was determined to convince him.

She wouldn’t give up until she did.

***

Standing next to Chase, Marla Chambers, his date for the evening, took a drink of her martini. “You don’t look like you’re having a very good time,” she said. “Should I be insulted?”

His mouth edged up. “Sorry. I was thinking about a case. I can’t seem to get it off my mind.”

“The missing teenage girl?”

He’d mentioned her earlier. He nodded. “Tammy Bennett. Her parents think she’s been kidnapped. They’ve managed to convince the police, who are in the middle of an all-out search. I think she’s a runaway.”

“Are you working for the parents?”

“No. I just happened to hear something on the street today. I’d like to check it out.”

She eyed him with speculation. “And you’re wishing you were doing that now instead of being here with me.”

He hated to admit she was right. His gaze ran over the attractive brunette he had been seeing for the past couple of weeks. He enjoyed Marla’s company. Enjoyed her in bed. But it wasn’t serious for either of them, and he kept thinking of the missing fourteen-year-old, a story that had been all over the news.

“She’s just a kid. If my source is right, she’s in very big trouble, and I might be able to find her.”

“I don’t suppose you could let the police handle it.”

“I could. I need to check it out first, make sure the tip is real.”

Marla shook her head, went up on her toes and kissed his cheek. “Then you’d better go.”

“What about you? You don’t look like you’re ready to leave.”

“I’m a big girl. I’ll stay awhile longer, catch a cab when it’s time to go home.”

Chase set his scotch down on one of the linen-draped tables. “Thanks, Marla. I appreciate this.”

“Call me tomorrow. Let me know what happens.”

“If I’m right, you’ll see it on the news.” Chase left Marla chatting with a friend and headed for the door. As he made his way through the throng of elegantly dressed men and women, an attractive blonde caught his eye.  Tall, with a slender figure, porcelain skin, and big blue eyes. She looked familiar.

As the puzzle pieces slid together, he recognized her, Harper Winston, the younger sister of his best friend in college. As a teenager, Harper had been pretty. Looking at her tonight, seeing her for the first time in years, he realized she had grown into a beautiful woman.

Unfortunately, she was a Winston. Her father, Knox Winston, was one of his least favorite people. Ruthless in business, his crooked dealings had made him a very wealthy man. But worse than his shady business enterprises was the mental abuse he’d heaped on his son that had put Michael on a downward spiral into drugs. And effectively destroyed his friendship with Chase.

Chase had steered clear of the Winstons ever since. He remembered hearing Harper had moved to Houston some years back. After that, he’d lost track of her and Michael, and he intended to keep it that way.

Though he had to admit as he took in Harper’s sleek curves and shiny silver-blond hair, he wouldn’t mind taking her to bed.

Even if the lady was of a similar mind, renewing his connection with the Winstons was the last thing he wanted. Besides, as he thought back on it, Harper had a reputation for being as cool and remote as she looked.

On his way out the door, he passed her. For an instant, her gorgeous blue eyes slid over him, and Chase felt a jolt of heat he hadn’t expected. He wouldn’t pursue it. Sleeping with Harper Winston, no matter how good it might be, just wasn’t worth it.

His thoughts returned to the task ahead, and Chase headed for the valet stand, a harsh October wind whipping against him on the way. He needed to get home and change. He couldn’t go to the Double Eagle dressed in a tuxedo—the bar was in Old East Dallas, one of the meanest sections of the city.

Earlier that day as a favor to Jason Maddox, a bail enforcement agent in his office who was looking for a skip, he had contacted one of his sources. During the conversation, his informant had mentioned the missing girl. Bennie had figured the tip was worth money, and if it turned into anything, Chase would gladly pay him.

It didn’t take long to reach the high-rise building on Pearl Street where he lived. He parked his silver Mercedes in the garage next to the brown Dodge Ram pickup he used for work.

Taking the elevator up to the seventeenth floor, he stepped into the entry and crossed the high-ceiling living room. An oversize sofa in a nubby cream fabric, dark brown throw pillows and lots of dark wood gave the condo a masculine tone that suited him. Stylized contemporary Western art hung on the walls.

With thirty-five hundred square feet of space, a spectacular view of the city, and a big terrace that opened off the living room and master bedroom, the condo was expensive and worth every dime.

Changing out of the tux, he pulled on a pair of worn jeans, a frayed blue denim shirt and a pair of scuffed cowboy boots. He retrieved the little .380 he carried when he wanted a weapon he could easily conceal, clipped the holster onto his belt behind his back and pulled his shirttail down over it.

It didn’t take long to reach the bar. The Dodge was ten years old, a few dents here and there, the paint a little faded, which helped it blend in. But the tires were new, and under the hood, the rebuilt engine ran like a scalded dog. He parked it on the street half a block from the bar and hoped the truck wouldn’t get jacked.

Looking at the trash on the sidewalk, broken beer bottles, used hypodermic needles, and drunks asleep in the gutter, part of him hoped his information was wrong and the girl wasn’t there.

The other half hoped like hell she was.

If he got lucky, maybe he could get her out of there.

Author the author

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

THE CONSPIRACY

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Maximum-Security-Book-ebook/dp/B07C14Q9M2

BN

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conspiracy-duane-l-martin/1120825832?ean=9781488098901#/

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-conspiracy-16

GOOGLE

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_The_Conspiracy?id=Xx1VDwAAQBAJ

ITUNES

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-conspiracy/id1369525583?mt=11

INDIEBOUND

https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=The+Conspiracy

 

Publishers Weekly Review

https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781335541895

https://bit.ly/2PVYzoZ

KAT’S WEBSITE

https://www.katmartin.com/

CONTEST LINKS

SPECIAL CONTEST: https://www.katmartin.com/the-conspiracy-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of THE CONSPIRACY, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of INTO THE FURYINTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM. Contest runs from Jan 1, 2019 through Feb 28, 2019.  

January Contest: https://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

For January, Kat Martin is giving away a signed hardcover edition of Book 3 in the AGAINST series, AGAINST THE SUN to celebrate the release of THE CONSPIRACY on Jan 22nd. NOTE: THE CONSPIRACYis not part of the prize.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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